Saturday, May 19, 2012

Protecting Girls from Negative Media Influences

Susanna Barrett, whose daughter appeared on Toddlers &Tiaras, recently filed a $30 million lawsuit against TMZ and other news outlets for featuring a video montage that she felt "sexualized" her five-year old.  In the video, her daughter Isabella is seen performing to LMFAO's song "Sexy And I Know It."  While many parents surely understand Susanna's reason for this specific suit, many also find fault with an entire entertainment industry that exploits girls, and with networks like TLC that glamorize the childhood pageant world.

Others simply wonder why mothers would expose their children to the pageant world in the first place.

Such outrage is also increasingly directed at clothing labels, which sell shirts for young girls that include slogans like "scratch and sniff" or "so many boys, so little time".

So how can parents protect their children from a culture that exploits them at such early ages?  And how can they teach them to stand up for themselves and resist such influences?

Dr. Tim Kimmel -- author and Executive Director of Family Matters ( -- has answers.  Considered one of America's top advocates for the family, Tim has written multiple best-selling books
on parenting, including "Raising Kids for True Greatness".  He has strong views on why it's critical that parents work to protect their children:  "We need to draw up new battle plans." says Kimmel.  "We
fought for their intellect. We fought for their paychecks.  Maybe it's time we fight for their souls."

Tim talks about why the pageant and music industries often get away with exploiting young women; why it's important to take a stand as a parent against degrading slogans on girls' clothing; how parents can approach these topics with their daughters; and why fighting for girls' dignity is just as important as is fighting for education and work opportunities.

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